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Freeloader Friday: 57 Free Things To Do This Weekend

A weed party, food truck fests, store openings, Charlie Parr at 331, and the Saint Paul Arts Crawl.

Charlie Parr plays 331 on Sunday.

Freeloader Friday is your weekly guide to having fun no matter what your budget looks like. Each week we have a list of 100% free events like gallery parties, music, and films in the park, as well as free admission events like special happy hours, markets, and more. For our picks of the week's best events, price be damned, click here.

Grand Hand Gallery


Saint Paul Art Crawl: Week One

Since 1991, the Saint Paul Art Crawl has been inviting people to explore the studios, galleries, and artists’ lofts in our capital city. That makes it the longest running event of its kind in the nation. The crawl began as a Lowertown showcase, but over the years it has expanded and grown to encompass 10 different neighborhoods to be enjoyed over the course of about a month. Things kick off this weekend with happenings on the West Side, Cathedral Hill, and Summit Grand, followed by weekends on West Seventh, downtown and Lowertown, and in South Como, Payne/Phalen, and Merriam Park. Hours vary per venue, but in general each weekend they are: 6-10 p.m. Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Find more details here. Through May 7—Jessica Armbruster 

RuPaul's Drag Race Viewing party

Come for the drag, stay for the karaoke that follows. With Tito's giveaways and drink specials with hosts B. Louise and Tony D. 21+. 6-8 p.m. Black Hart of Saint Paul, 1415 University Ave. W., St. Paul.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Viewing Party

This weekly event includes drink specials and the chance to win free shots. 7-9 p.m. On the RoX, 1333 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. 

The Swongos, The Changeups, Matt Jennings 

Jazz, surf, and Latin tunes. 21+. 9 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Street Hassle, The Tender Years, John Swardson

8 p.m. 21+. 9 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Café Tropical

Featuring hard seltzer-based craft cocktails and specialty slushies with a tropical vibe. 4 p.m. to midnight Fri.-Sat.  Fair State Brewing Cooperative, 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Stirling Castle Vintage

Stirling Castle Vintage Opening Party

Frequently seen at Mpls Vintage Market, Stirling Castle is now a brick-and-mortar shop. At the party there will be champagne and treats. 5-9 p.m. Stirling Castle Vintage, 4806 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis.

MFT Radical Educator Social Hour

Chat with folks about the school year, the data breach, and how our schools could improve. 4-6 p.m. Arbeiter Brewing Co., 3038 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis. 

What is Home?

Check out large scale paintings, ceramics, and more exploring family, Black history, and homelessness by four realtors who are also artists. 5-8 p.m. Modus Locus, 3500 Bloomington Ave., Minneapolis. 

"Piitwewetam: Making is Medicine"

Piitwewetam: Making is Medicine

This show honors the memory of Piitwewetam (Rolling Thunder), aka Jesse Gustafson, who died in a car accident in 2015. Each piece in this exhibition will be gifted to friends and family, as is Anishnaabe grieving tradition. The show opened on Thursday, but the gallery has open hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. All My Relations Arts, 1414 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis.

Kinda Fonda Wanda 

Country and rockabilly tunes. 5-7:30 p.m. The Trailhead, 1221 Theodore Wirth Pkwy, Minneapolis.

Pink Boots BASH

Taste the final product of a community brew made in honor of International Women's Day, Pink Boots Cold IPA. 6-10 p.m. Lakes & Legends, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis.

Rattle and Hum 

U2 covers. 6 p.m.  Kieran’s Irish Pub, 85 N. 6th St., Minneapolis.

Friday Night Open Mic

21+. 10 p.m. The Comedy Corner Underground, 1501 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis.

"Neon Nightmares 2"


Neon Nightmares 2

This group show features 13 artists working neon and black light arts. The reception is free, but donations for artists are encouraged. 7 p.m. Artspace Jackson Flats, 901 18 1/2 Ave. NE, Minneapolis.


We’ll state it here for all readers and potential advertisers to see: Racket loves weed. So much so that we devoted an entire week of programming—Weed Week—to the wacky stuff. It’s safe to say the CannaWomen Collective feels the same way, as evidenced by the pre-4/20 THC blowout they’re throwing at The Hook. Cannasesh will feature live glass blowing with Legacy Glass, LED grow light demonstrations, games, food trucks, and vendors offering free samples of gummies, treats, and seltzers. Dangerous Man, Kite Soda, Eastlake, and Higher Vibez will be there, and there will also be music from some of the best DJs in town: Shannon Blowtorch, Sophia Eris, IzzieP, and Bootsy Ballins. 21+. Free. 3-9 p.m. Hook & Ladder, 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Tia Keobounphen, Kehayr Brown-Ransaw

Tia Keobounpheng: Intend

The artist reflects on heritage and place within her informed history. 6-9 p.m.Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Kehayr Brown-Ransaw: In a Family Way 

Large-scale quilts serve as a meditation on who quilts are a comfort, commodity, and a part of Black American history. 6-9 p.m. Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis.

30 Days of Biking Halfway High Five

A few weeks ago, Em Cassel wrote this about the 30 Days kickoff ride: “The forecast is showing sunshine and a high of 37 this Saturday—better weather than we get some years for the start of 30 Days of Biking.” What the weather reports weren’t telling us yet at the time of writing was that we were going to get a blizzard the day before. And so, for the first time ever (in our memories, at least) 30 Days’ opening ride was canceled because the roads were unsafe and unrideable. Despite that minor delay (that snow melted fast!) folks have been working on their pledge to ride their bikes every day in April. To celebrate, the 30 Days gang is hosting a redo ride, a family-friendly trip that will mark the halfway point of the challenge. It departs from Graze Provisions + Libations in the North Loop. Leaders will take riders on a 4’ish-mile cruise along the Mississippi, and ending back at Graze to enjoy drinks and snacks. The forecast this time says to expect a high of 48 and some rain–sounds better than last time, at least! Free. Noon to 4 p.m. Graze Provisions + Libations, 520 N. Fourth St., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Double Opening Reception

Featuring still lifes in gallery 1, diptychs in gallery 2. 6-8 p.m. Praxis Gallery, 2637 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

Porch Knights

CRASH CUDDLE, Warcake, Porch Knights

9 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Keg and Case Weekend Market

Featuring handmade soaps, geeky pins, CBD tinctures, sweets, dog products, and more. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through April. Keg and Case Market, 928 7th St. W., St. Paul.


Craic tunes. 8 p.m. Kieran’s Irish Pub, 85 N. 6th St., Minneapolis.

Juniper Lou’s Vintage and Makers’ Market

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Earl Giles Distillery, 1325 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis.

The World Jubilee: Global Fair Trade Market

Shop cards, pottery, jewelry, clothing, textiles, and more from artists all over the world. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul.

I-94 in Minneapolis: Imagine Cedar Riverside without the Highway

Join this community listening session on the impacts of I-94, past and present. Also: snacks. 1-3 p.m. Andersen Library, room 120, 222 S. 21st Ave., Minneapolis.

Flip Cup at Ties

Two teams of 50 duke it out. Yes, this event is free, but you need to RSVP here. 3 p.m. Ties, 1400 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis.

Rockin' Robins Music and Movement Class

Hands-on musical activities for kids. 11 a.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

4-H Food Show

Check out youth food projects. 10 a.m. to noon. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Manchester City FC vs Leicester City (PL)

11:30 a.m. Brit's Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Blaine Food Truck Party

Blaine Food Trucks Fun

Food trucks include KCM EggRolls, Original Hockey Mom Brownie, Toscano’s Italian, Ipierogi, Mama’s Taco, and Youniverse Waffle. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fleet Farm, 10250 Lexington Ave. NE, Blaine. 

Bock Party

It ain’t too late to poke your beer! OMNI’s Bock Party invites you to partake in a trio of beer releases—Bock Party, Doppelbock, and Märzen—all of which would welcome a nice jab from a hot poker. They’ll also have live music from The Jugsluggers and The Squires Band, with eats from Adventure Bowls and Northeast Pretzels. If you’re still not familiar with beer poking, the Strib recently went long on the ancient and presently popular practice, which involves heating a metal rod over a fire and then plunging it into a frosty mug of beer, caramelizing the malt sugars in the process. But all you really need to know is: beer, outside, around a fire. The good stuff! Free. Noon to 5 p.m. for poking; foods trucks and tunes ‘til 8 p.m. OMNI Brewery & Taproom, 9462 Deerwood Ln. N., Maple Grove.—Em Cassel

Mother's Day Craft Fair

Don’t freak out; it’s not Mother's Day weekend. Here you can shop for mom-friendly wares from 20 makers, and food trucks will be stopping by. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. Hidden MN, 1975 Oakcrest Ave., Roseville.

Lunds & Byerlys France Avenue Edina 50th Anniversary Celebration

Grocery store party! Featuring special deals, live entertainment, special guests, treats, and more. Noon to 4 p.m. Lunds & Byerlys 7171 France Ave. S., Edina.

Pokémon GO Community Day 

Featuring Pokémon games, snacks, food and drink specials, and Pokémon trivia night at 5 p.m. Noon to 8 p.m. Wisdom Gaming Studios, Fourth Floor South/East corner at Mall of America.

Fragmented Nostalgia's Grand Opening

Check out giant Pokémon and Digimon displays, collectibles, Squishmallows, and more. Noon. Maplewood Mall, 3001 White Bear Ave., St. Paul.

Beer Choir: Choirs on Tap

5-7 p.m. Heavy Rotation Brewing Co., 9801 Xenia Ave. N., Suite 105, Brooklyn Park.

Matt & Laurel 

Acoustic guitar and vocals covering popular music. 7-9 p.m. Boom Island Brewing, 5959 Baker Rd., Minnetonka.

The Serfs

Irish tunes. 7-11 p.m. Jameson’s Irish Pub, 886 Smith Ave. S., West St. Paul.

Last Call Saturdays

Weekly event features drink specials, DJ tunes, light shows, beer pong, bar games, and giant Jenga. 10 p.m. to midnight. Last Call MN, 26 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis. 

Nature Rocks! Outdoor Center Open House

Weekly events include free family-friendly activities such as hiking, hands-on interactions with live animals, craft projects and more. Through May 27. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eden Prairie Outdoor Center, 13765 Staring Lake Pkwy, Eden Prairie.

Yoga at Union Depot

Hosted by Studio 9-to-5. Bring a mat and some water; sign up here. 9 a.m. Union Depot, 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul.

Farmers’ Markets

Downtown Market 

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. St Paul Farmers Market, 290 East Fifth St., St. Paul.

Minneapolis Farmers Market

Fresh produce, plants, and locally made products. 9 a.m. to noon. 312 Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Mill City Farmers Market

With over 40 local farmers, makers, and more. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mill City Museum, 704 S. Second St., Minneapolis.

The Common Ground


The Common Ground 

With Matt Blake, Aaron Silverstein, Nik Pellinen. 2-4 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.

Charlie Parr

3-5 p.m. 21+. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Vintage Market 

RSVP here. Noon to 4 p.m. Quincy Hall, 1325 Quincy St NE, Minneapolis.

2023 Food Truck Season Kick-Off

Featuring a variety of foods from around the world from 35 food trucks. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, 1669 Arcade St., St. Paul.

Doodle Day

Featuring a mobile nail trimmer, gourmet dog treats, collars for sale, and a human food truck. 1-5 p.m.  Boom Island Brewing, 5959 Baker Rd., Minnetonka.

Squirrel Chess Club

Bring a board and your chess friends. 5 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Varsity Gaymes

Weekly event features spots on TVs, beer pong, and other bar games. 2 p.m. LUSH Lounge & Theater, 990 NE Central Ave., Minneapolis.

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